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Smog in Poland. Where is the air quality the worst? New ranking of the Polish Smog Alert

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Nowa Ruda in Lower Silesia once again took first place in the ranking of the most smog-polluted towns. For the first time, Nowe Miasto Lubawskie was included in it – according to the Polish Smog Alert (PAS) ranking published on Thursday. “Good signals” regarding air quality in our country were also indicated.

The latest ranking of the most polluted towns in Poland was prepared based on data from the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection for 2022.

Nowa Ruda remains in the lead

As noted, “the high position of Nowa Ruda is still disturbing”, which was in first place in all three categories. Last year, the most smog days were recorded there – 95. A smog day is considered to be one in which the average daily permissible level of PM10 dust (50 micrograms per cubic meter – µg/m³) is exceeded. The national standard for the concentration of these harmful particles in the air is 35 days.

The highest concentration of PM10 dust and the highest concentration of carcinogenic benzo(a)pyrene were also recorded in Nowa Ruda, which amounted to nine micrograms per cubic meter, i.e. 900 percent of the norm. The national standard for the concentration of this chemical is one nanogram per cubic meter, while the standard according to the World Health Organization is 0.12 ng/m³.

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As we read, “among the smog leaders, a large number of towns from Małopolska are also surprising.” “It was in this voivodeship, as a result of the decision of the Provincial Assembly, that the prolonged use of “smokestacks”, i.e. boilers that pollute the air the most, was allowed. This shows that anti-smog regulations have an impact on the air we breathe,” it was written.

Cities with the highest number of smog daysCRIMSON

Cities with the most smog days in 2022CRIMSON

Nowe Miasto Lubawskie in the ranking for the first time

For the first time, Nowe Miasto Lubawskie (Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship) appeared in the inglorious ranking, where a new measuring station of the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection was installed. In 2022, 53 smog days were recorded there, and the concentration of benzo(a)pyrene was 700%. norms.

Experts were also worried about the high position of some health resorts, including: SzczawnicaRabka-Zdrój and Jedlina-Zdrój, where benzo(a)pyrene concentrations exceeding the standards by 300 to 600 percent were recorded.

Cities with the highest average annual concentration of benzo(a)pyreneCRIMSON

Cities with the highest average annual concentration of benzo(a)pyreneCRIMSON

Positive examples

According to experts, however, “the fight against smog is starting to bring results.”

As indicated, “it is encouraging that in all towns monitored by the Chief Inspectorate of Environmental Protection, the average annual concentration of PM10 dust was within the norm.” Such a situation was observed for the first time since the Polish Smog Alert published the ranking, i.e. since 2015.

“The air in Poland is slowly starting to improve, as evidenced by the comparison of smog record holders from 2014 and 2022,” we read. Over nine years in Nowa Ruda, the average annual concentration of benzo(a)pyrene decreased by 47%, the number of smog days decreased by 26%, and the average annual concentration of PM10 decreased by one fifth.

An improvement in the situation was observed in all towns where measurements are carried out. As stated in v Krakow and Rybnik, the average annual concentration of PM10 dropped by as much as 40 percent, but “the biggest changes can be seen in the number of smog days.” For eight years in Nakło, “the number of days with unbreathable air decreased more than fivefold.” Three times were recorded in Godów, and in Pszczyna double decrease.

Cities with the highest annual concentration of PM10 dustCRIMSON

Cities with the highest annual concentration of PM10 dustCRIMSON

“The air is slowly getting better”

– These are good signals coming from still smog-covered Poland – commented Piotr Siergiej, spokesman for PAS. – We can see that the implemented actions, especially the elimination of smokestacks, are starting to bring results. However, it is extremely important that government and local government authorities do not rest on their laurels and continue these activities, he said. He added that “three million” such furnaces are still smoking in Poland, and “in some voivodeships we see attempts to dismantle anti-smog resolutions and allow the use of stoves.”

As Sergei said, “the air is slowly improving and the number of deaths caused by pollution is also decreasing, but the situation is still very bad.” – Continuing and even accelerating anti-smog activities is crucial to improving air quality in our country – he concluded.

Polish Smog Alert, tvnmeteo.pl

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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